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Mavericks Outlast Knicks In Double Overtime To Win Seventh D-I Title In Last Eight Years

By NWBA, 04/02/17, 8:45PM CDT


Photos courtesy NWBA/Linda Doane

Louisville, Kentucky – The Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks needed double overtime to claim its seventh NWBA Adult Division I National Title in the last eight seasons, with an 83-78 win over the New York Rollin’ Knicks. The Mavs and Knicks were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 throughout the 2016-17 season, alternating positions several times, with the Mavs regaining the No. 1 slot as the season concluded and earned the No. 1 seed. 

The Kentucky Exposition Center was packed around the championship court as both teams exchanged baskets. Canada’s Paralympic gold medalist Patrick Anderson paced the Knicks in the first half scoring 14 of the Knicks’ 34, for a 34-30 lead. The Mavericks utilized their starting five who all contributed, with Andreas Kraft putting back 15 of his 29 points in the first half. Kraft was named the NWBT D-I MVP.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair with each team have either a one- or two-point lead in the waning minutes, and tied at 65-65. In the first overtime, both teams scored five points each. The second overtime belonged to the Mavs’ Bobbie Nickleberry who scored four of his 20, to seal the win. Also, seeing double digits in scoring were U.S. Paralympic medalists Jason Nelms (2012, bronze) with 14 points, and Aaron Gouge (2016, gold) with 11 points.

The Knicks’ scoring leaders were Paralympic gold medalists: Anderson with 26 points, David Eng with 20 points, and Steve Serio with 13 points.

Junior Division Varsity National Championships

Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers def. BlazeSports Junior Hawks, 54-36

The Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers jumped out to an early lead en route to their first Varsity National Championships with four athletes scoring double digits. Tanner Gentry, the Varsity National Championship Game MVP, set the stage scoring 18 of his 25 in the first half. In the second stanza, Matthew Talbot pushed the Pacers with 12 of his 15 points in the second half. Gabe DenBraber scoring 12 points.

The Hawks witnessed four athletes contributing and being led by Samuel Armas with 14 points, while Eric Francis and Jordan Kozloski scored 8 points each.

Junior Division Prep National Championships

WASA Junior Bucks def. LWSRA, 29-14

The WASA Junior Bucks opened the NWBT’s Championship Sunday morning by defeating the LWSRA Rolling Hawks, 29-14, to win their first NWBA Prep National Championships. Travis Beckler led the Bucks with 12 points, and was named the NWBT Championship Game MVP. Also contributing for the Bucks was Lucas Oswald with 8 points, and Raia Ottenheimer with 6 points.

The Hawks were paced by Zach Gorecki with 6 points, with Jivon Payton and Harmonee Ruetes scoring 4 points each.

Varsity Division II National Championships

DFW Freewheelers def. Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers, 55-40

The DFW Freewheelers opened the game on a 6-0 run and never looked back to claim the first D-II National Championships by defeating the Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers, 55-40. The NWBA brought the D-II league back after an eight-year hiatus. The Freewheelers were consistent with a strong defense shutting down the Cavs, which opened up Blake McMinn who scored 24 points for the win. Enoch Ablorh found the basket for 13 points. Leading the defense was 2016 U.S. Paralympic gold medalist Darlene Hunter, who also scored four points. Ablorh was named the D-II MVP.

The Cavs scoring leaders were 2012 U.S. Paralympic bronze medalist Will Waller with 17 points, and Randall Zinn jr. with 11 points.

Adult Division III National Championships

Oklahoma Rollin Trojans def. LWSRA Hawks, 67-58

Michael Thompkins lit up the boards for the Oklahoma Rollin Trojans scoring a single-game tournament high 54 points, as the Trojans came from behind to win its first D-III title over the LWSRA Hawks, 67-58. Thompkins’ scoring spree started in the first half with 21 points, and then the onslaught came in the second for 35 points. The rest of the bench contributed 13.

The Hawks were led by two reaching double figures, Paul Smith (24 points) and Jeff Yackley (12 points). Zoe Voris and Thomas Duffy each scored nine points.

Junior Division NIT Championship

Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets def. Peoria Wildcats, 45-17

To close out Saturday afternoon, the first of six title games were played as the Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets closed out the season with a 45-17 victory over the Peoria Wildcats to win the Junior National Invitational Tournament. Leading the way for the Nuggets was Noah Hotchkiss with 27 points, with contributions from Jonathan McNamara with 10 points and Abigail Farrell putting up 7 points.

The 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical was the largest ever with 95 teams competing in two divisions (Adult and Junior) for National Championships. The NWBT featured a total of 190 games on 12 courts